In exchange, the Avalanche will send defender Conor Timmins, their 2022 first round draft pick and a conditional 2024 third rounder to the Arizona Coyotes. the deal also includes Arizona retaining $1m of Kuemper’s salary meaning that the netminder will count for $3.5m against the cap this coming season.
The first round pick that Colorado sent to the Coyotes is lottery protected meaning that if Kuemper were to get injured and the season takes a terrible turn resulting in the Avs missing the playoffs, the first round pick gets pushed to 2023.
General Manager Joe Sakic had to pay a big price but in Kuemper, he is getting one of the best goalies in the NHL. He is also a rental. With one year left on his contract, Kuemper can become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Given the price paid in this trade, it stands to reason that the Avalanche will be looking to work out an extension with the 31-year old.
Though he comes at a very high price - particularly for someone with only one year left on his contract - Kuemper has been consistently one of the best goalies in the league over the last four seasons. During his time in Arizona he had a .920 sv% with a 35.1 GSAA and a 63% quality start rate. In other words, he has been better than Philipp Grubauer over the last three seasons while playing on a much worse team.
Kuemper will now join Pavel Francouz and Jonas Johansson as the three goaltending options for the Avalanche this season.
The one concern with Kuemper is his past injuries. He has had lower-body issues lately but has now had the same surgery that’s kept Semyon Varlamov healthy in Long Island so it seems as if the Avalanche don’t believe health will be an issue.
Despite the trade capital given up, this is a very good gamble if for no other reason than his high-quality doggo content on Instagram.
For comparison’s sake, here is Philipp Grubauer’s save chart for the last three seasons. Very strong but not as strong as Kuemper.